The Gustavus men’s soccer team hosted Macalester College in the MIAC Tourament Final on Saturday afternoon in St. Peter, Minn. The Gusties defeated the Scots 3-0 to claim their second MIAC Tournament Championship and earned an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament for the second consecutive season.
After 45 minutes of play the game was still 0-0 with Gustavus enjoying most of the possession. The Scots outshot the Gusties 5-3 in the first half with all of the shots outside the penalty box. Gustavus held a corner kick advantage of 3-0.
In the second half, the Gusties pressed forward doing well to keep possession in their offensive third. In the 64th minute, Gustavus was awarded a free kick just outside the penalty box. J.T. Johnson was played a ball from Joe Hartwell and Johnson served the ball across the mouth of the goal. Macalester was unable to clear the ball and Ben Heupel pushed the ball into the back of the net to give the Gusties a 1-0 lead.
In the 82nd minute, J.T. Johnson put Alex Groth through up top. Groth looked as if he would hit the shot one time but laid the ball back across the penalty spot to Johnson. Johnson fired the ball past the Macalester goalkeeper to make it 2-0. Approximately five minutes later, the Gusties were awarded a penalty kick when a Macalester defender elbowed Mike Butterworth near the endline. Joe Hartwell stepped up a hammered the shot into the back of the net to make the final 3-0.
Gustavus ends the season with an overall record of 17-1-2, the best 20-game record in school history. The Gusties become the first MIAC school to win the regular season title and the tournament final. The win guarantees head coach Larry Zelenz’s squad its second consecutive NCAA appearance and fifth national tournament appearance in school history. The NCAA Division III Men’s Soccer Committee will announce the bracket selections on Sunday, November 7 at approximately 9pm.